Pizza Hut Celebrates the Opening of its 3,000th Store in China
Yum China Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: YUMC and HKEX: 9987, "Yum China" or the "Company") today celebrated the opening of Pizza Hut's 3,000th store in China, located in Qinhuangdao, a coastal city in Hebei province. It marks a significant milestone in Pizza Hut's 33-year growth journey in China.
The new restaurant enjoys a sweeping view of the sea. Not only does it provide a contemporary dining experience, but also showcases advanced sustainability solutions, including an IoT-based intelligent energy management system and outdoor solar lamps. The restaurant also incorporates renewable and recycled materials in its decoration and layout, aiming to inspire consumers to embrace low-carbon and sustainable living.
"The opening of Pizza Hut 3,000th store is more than a landmark moment for store expansion. It demonstrates Pizza Hut's strength as a "pizza expert" and reaffirms our commitment to growing the brand in China. This milestone also underscores our focus on continuous innovation, from menu innovation and digitalization, to a range of new store formats," said Joey Wat, CEO of Yum China. "We believe the brand holds tremendous growth potential in China, and we are committed to actively pursuing expansion opportunities to further grow the brand."
Since opening its first location in Beijing in 1990, Pizza Hut has grown into the largest casual dining restaurant brand in China, both in terms of system sales and number of restaurants.
"Pizza Hut is extremely proud of its heritage as the first restaurant chain to introduce pizza and Western-style casual dining to China," said Jeff Kuai, General Manager of Pizza Hut China. "From our first store in Beijing to now 3,000 stores nationwide, we have always grown together with our customers. We'll continue to expand our store portfolio, while staying true to our commitment to innovating great food and experiences for our customers."
Pizza Hut China offers an extensive range of pizzas, steaks, pasta, rice dishes and other delectable entrees, along with appetizers, beverages, and desserts. Through relentless food innovation, Pizza Hut has strengthened its leadership in the pizza category while also establishing itself as one of the leading steakhouses in China. Pizza Hut launched its new 2023 menu in May and introduced 24 brand new items, covering 9 categories, such as Neapolitan-style meatball pizza and Cheese and pineapple roll. Pizza Hut is dedicated to fueling growth across different dayparts and through diverse channels, encompassing dine-in, delivery, takeaway as well as offering packaged foods such as read-to-cook steak and pasta.
Pizza Hut China has also transformed its digital capabilities over the past few years. This includes notable achievements in establishing a robust digital ecosystem, expanding its membership base, and enhancing the overall customer experience. As of the end of March 2023, Pizza Hut had more than 135 million members in China, nearly doubling the count at the end of 2019. During the first quarter of 2023, digital orders accounted for approximately 91% of company sales, representing a substantial increase from 31% in 2019.
On the restaurant front, Pizza Hut China also leverages its digital capabilities to drive sales and operational excellence. Pizza Hut rolled out i-Kitchen, the Back of House operation management system, at all Pizza Hut stores across China. The system uses AI, IoT and machine learning algorithms to help restaurant managers effectively manage inventory levels and automate the order sequence and production process. The system also helps to perform food safety and quality assurance checks, reinforcing Pizza Hut's firm commitment to deliver high standards to customers.
Over the past 33 years, Pizza Hut China has built on its rich brand heritage, while constantly innovating and adapting to evolving customer demands. Moving ahead, strong branding, great food, and customer experience, will continue to be the three key catalysts for Pizza Hut China's long-term growth.